A CAMPAIGN is underway in Yate asking retailers to close shop doors during the freezing weather.

As temperatures plummet to lows of minus 10, shopkeepers are being urged to save energy and keep warm by shutting their doors during trading hours.

The Close the Door campaign has already won the backing of several celebrities including Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and MPs.

Sue Pollard, co-ordinator for the Bristol Close the Door campaign, said there was no evidence that keeping doors open would entice shoppers inside.

She said: "A lot of open shop doors are appearing on our high streets, but there's no evidence that sales increase as a result.

"What’s more, shops can actually save up to 50 per cent on their energy costs by keeping their doors closed – that’s money they would otherwise have to find."

In Yate, the Gazette found around 90 per cent of shops had their doors propped open during a busy afternoon in December.

Some retailers such as The Entertainer operate automatic doors but the majority, including New Look, Peacocks, The Works and Claire’s Accessories, had shop fronts open with a ‘curtain of air’ above the door to warm shoppers as they entered the store. Clothing chain Dorothy Perkins does not have any doors but instead operates shutters which are only closed at the end of the day.

Vodafone and stationers Ryman have joined the campaign and both shops had the doors closed when the Gazette investigated.

Yate Shopping Centre manager Andy Lowrey said the decision was down to each retailer.

"It is completely left to their discretion," he told the Gazette. "It really depends on the type of shop front they have but as an external shopping centre retailers are going to close the doors not just for the staff but also for customers to ensure it is a warm environment to come into.

"As a shopping centre we do not encourage or discourage either way really."

The campaign has found that temperatures in some shops can be on a par with Jamaica, reaching a sweltering 25 degrees. Keeping doors open and the heating on full is estimated to be costing the UK’s retailers £1billion a year and over-door heaters are said to use as much energy a week as a return coach trip from Glasgow to London.

Recent research by Cambridge University has found that closing shop doors can reduce energy usage by 50 per cent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 10 tonnes.